Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hector Rodriguez Jailed for Lack of Hospital Space

The 13(thirteen) paragraphs and signature block and 21(twenty) links.  The news story below about Hector Rodriguez illustrates the importance of decriminalizing mental illness in America. The nation's prison rolls are swollen with 1.25million mentally ill Americans (more than half of the nation's 2.3 million inmates). Prison costs in the United States of America are over $50 billion per year. Although jail worsens mental health, especially solitary confinement, no expense is spared in the USA to punish people for actions caused by mental illness. On the other hand, the shortage of mental hospital beds is so critical that there is no room when courts order sick people into treatment rather than sentencing them to prison. Mr. Rodriguez's story is below.

York Daily Record - Oct 23, 2010 - York, PA -  Hector Rodriguez is stuck in prison because there s no room at a state mental hospital. His case shows how the system is overloaded.

This summer, Hector Francisco Rodriguez was living in a North York mental health care facility under a court order because his doctors deemed the 19-year-old to be an immediate danger to himself and others.

On Sept. 2, police allege, Rodriguez, mentally disabled and diagnosed with schizophrenia, confirmed the court's fears.  He walked down the hallway of Northwestern Human Services and screamed something threatening, according to court documents. A psychotherapist tried to calm him down, but Rodriguez punched him in the face and struck his hand with a pen, breaking the skin.

When another Northwestern employee opened a locked door to aid the psychotherapist, court records show, Rodriguez fled, first the secured area and then the building. Police arrested him soon after in York's Fireside neighborhood and charged him with aggravated assault, simple assault and escape.

Rodriguez has been in York County Prison ever since, even though a judge ordered more than a month ago that he be sent to a state mental hospital for treatment and evaluation.

His mother is confused and upset. She knows her son needs help, but she's afraid he's not getting it.

"I understand he did something, but it's not because he wanted to do it," Rosemary Ubiles said. "It's because he's sick. Why do you punish someone for having a health condition?" (See the entire article at the link above.)

The answer to Rosemary's question is GREED. With the advent of private prisons and jails (one of America's most prosperous industries), mental health was shifted from the Department of Health to the Department of Corrections.  Not only are mentally ill Americans punished with imprisonment for being sick, but many of them are killed for that reason. Each year, mentally ill Americans are shot or Tasered by police officers. Some die in cruel restraint chairs, and others are beaten to death by jail guards. Acute mental patients are also abused or killed by bullies in their communities who find their mental imbalance entertaining. The United States Department of Justice is charged with upholding the rights of Americans with disabilities and protecting institutionalized persons, but the government agency refuses to do either when it comes to mental patients. See the petition for the USDOJ to please do the job Americans pay taxes for the government agency to do and investigate my brother's SECRET ARREST AND MURDER at this link -  - and see the website about my murdered brother at  - Mentally ill people who are black, Hispanic, Asian, or from white families that lack wealth are ordinarily deprived of treatment that could restore many of them to wholesome lives. Instead, they are seemingly reserved untreated to become future prisoners of America after committing some avoidable crime.

Mental illness was criminalized to enrich prison owners and investors. Mentally ill Americans will continue to be imprisoned rather than treated in hospitals and community care programs until enough concerned voters say, "That's enough." One way to do that is to support H.R.619, a federal bill introduced in Congress in January 2009 by Rep. Eddie Johnson (D-TX) to reinstate Medicaid for inpatient treatment in mental hospitals. When Medicaid insurance coverage was removed in the 1970's, many hospitals closed, and closures continue today.  Millions of families are negatively impacted when their sick loved ones are arrested rather than treated for mental illness, but mainstream media refuses to publish any information about this important congressional bill.  Prison owers/investors do not want American voters to know that an affordable, just, humane alternative to criminalizing mental illness is before Congress.  Please see more about H.R.619 at this link:

The national health reform bill that Congress passed early in 2010 included NO provisions for inpatient mental health insurance.  Depriving sick Americans of inpatient treatment when it is needed insures a continuous shortage of beds in mental health facilities.  Lack of mental health insurance dooms acute mental patients to the revolving door in and out of prisons, which saves taxpayers no money. The lack of mental health care facilities and programs for community care makes society less safe than it could be for patients as well as their families and communities.  The only way for mental patients to become beneficial to prison owners and investors is to wait for them to commit a crime worthy of incarceration.  Many psychiatric patients are imprisoned for minor offenses like vagrancy and panhandling.  But sentencing for worse crimes, such as murder, yields higher profits for prison investors.

Thank you for giving ASSISTANCE TO THE INCARCERATED MENTALLY ILL. Please invite your friends to visit our online group, write your representatives about this issue, and read more about victims of the injustice system in my blog.  See the handy index of articles for at the left margin.  For specific subjects, Google my name with the person or issue, such as "Mary Neal prison" or "Mary Neal Troy Davis" or "Mary Neal Capital Punishment."  I had time to write numerous articles about the injustice system over the last few years while I was a virtual prisoner in my own home for safety.  Security and my freedom of speech and press became problematic issues after I dared to ask Memphis Shelby County Jail and the United States Department of Justice "WHAT HAPPENED TO LARRY NEAL?"

I placed the Rodriguez article at the online group, Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill, at the link below.  I referenced the link at Twitter, but AIMI's whole discussion strand responded to the link rather than the Rodriguez article. This is the link at AIMI where you can view a photograph of Rodriguez with his family -- Problems with my links happen when the cyber censorship staff has been instructed to later delete Internet input I publish to decriminalize mental illness or expose other injustices.  Therefore, I cross-posted the Rodriguez article here at FreeSpeakBlog.  Work to decriminalize mental illness has much interference, just as all human rights advocacy efforts did and still do.  Consider slavery abolitionists, the civil rights movement, women's suffrage, the labor movement, anti-war movement, and others.  Throughout history, individuals and groups that dared to ask their governments to please be fair have been censored, threatened, and some advocates were actually killed.  I experience in-person and online stalking.  Recent threats against my family center around arson.  Note to terrorists:  The records and videos you hope to destroy were long ago copied on tiny flash drives and discs and distributed across America for safekeeping.  Thanks to everyone who prays for me as the founder/director of Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill and the person who blew the whistle on The Cochran Firm Fraud.  See information and videos about The Cochran Firm Fraud at this link - PLEASE VOTE for H.R.619 at this link -


Mary Neal

Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill

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